Learning practical life skills every woman needs to master is hard enough. Learning intangible life skills is even harder! So, let’s walk through 3 of the most powerful intangible life skills I believe every traditional woman should master. You can read about 3 of the most vital practical life skills here.
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Intangible life skills could very well be more critical than the practical skills because most of them are rooted in character. This means a woman should focus on perfecting these qualities first, especially since most of these are catalysts for the practical skills that follow. In reality though, it’s easier to learn to do something you can feel, see and be part of. But if there’s one skill every adult needs to master, it’s communication.
Life Skill #4 – Master the art of communication
This is one of the foundational life skills every woman should master because we are relational beings designed to interact with others and be companions. But communication is more than talking and it’s not as simple as being able to type up the perfect tweet.
My Dad used to tell me, “Everyone’s not like you.” I had to accept that fact for what it is. It means there’s room for my creativity and uniqueness. It also means my differences can cause me to clash with people at times. Enter solid communicational skills!
It’s part knowing what to say, when to say it and how. And also, who to say it to. Then on the other side of that coin, it’s about really listening. And that’s what I think a lot of young women are missing today. I’ve learned that you have to hear what people say and not make assumptions about what they don’t say. Some people naturally pick up on the facts when someone else is talking. But did you know that people also speak in emotions and values? The full experience of a conversation is when you process all of that before responding.
Communication is most often discussed in two areas of life: conflict resolution and couples’ therapy (or pre-marital counseling). But it’s one of those “You’re going to need it later on,” sort of deals. So even when there’s no conflict or if you’re not married it’s a valuable skill. In the workplace it’s the respect you give to your superiors and the value you give to your coworkers. Between friends, it’s intimate. When coaching your kid or sister through life, it’s foundational. It frees the space around you so others enjoy talking to you because they feel heard when they do.
Amateur Tip: Challenge yourself to listen only for emotions, values or facts in your next conversation. Whichever is not your first reaction.
Practicing this exercise switches on a different part of your brain. So, the more you do it, the better you’ll be! It requires a lot of patience though.
But communication is a two-way street. Ever heard that before? So, it also means learning how you communicate with others. And that’s another thing altogether especially since talking with others can easily be a reactive situation. The best way to go about it though is to be proactive.
Being married to my best friend is the best part of my world. BUT it wasn’t until we got married that I realized how poorly I was communicating my feelings and thoughts. I’m a very emotional person so my first mode is usually to speak that way. But I wasn’t giving him the chance to truly hear me. Instead, I was leaving him to figure out what I meant or needed and he wasn’t always right. So don’t wait for a sticky issue to practice learning this one!
Amateur Tip #2: Realize your primary communication mode (emotion, fact or value) and switch modes in your next convo!
Although I mostly speak in emotion, I’ve learned that I listen in fact. I try now to listen for emotion and values in the conversations I have with others and this helps me understand them better in that moment. It also helps me draw a more wholesome picture of that person over time. Communication may be one of the farthest-reaching skills of life because there’s no escaping it. No woman is an island and learning how to communicate pays dividends that never cease.
Life Skill #5 – Embrace a Servant’s mentality
Having a servant’s mind has made my life better. And I believe that living an others-minded life creates peaceful, lasting relationships. Along with good communication! So, it’s truly an invaluable life skill every woman needs to master. The servants’ mindset also grows patience and humility in a woman’s character. This life skill takes so little upfront and reaps so much in the end. Woman tend to be selfless creatures by nature, but this skill is not one I often see in my generation.
One way I practice it is by learning what the person next to me is doing or going through then trying to be helpful. Sometimes that means action, sometimes just listening, but always praying. Doing for others may come natural to you and that’s great! If it doesn’t, the only way to master it is by practicing it.
Are you married? What small gesture could you do for your husband that would show him how much you respect him and value his presence?
Are you house-hacking? How can you help your roommate accomplish something this week?
Are you a mother, manager or student? How can you encourage and inspire those around you?
Before we got married, I used to tell Mr. Traditional that when he actively looked for God, he would find Him. Day after day, I’d ask him how he saw God that day and he’d have something new for me. The same is true of this life skill. When you look for ways to be more others-minded, you will find them!
Amateur Tip: Identify one way you can uplift the person you’re thinking about. Then Do It!
In this instance, it’s not the thought that counts. Thought with no action doesn’t encourage a servant’s mentality. But there is nothing more beautiful than a woman who lives a life of giving from the heart. And what’s the woman’s reward for practicing and perfecting this skill? She creates a warm atmosphere that’s cozy and trusting. I want to be this woman.
Life Skill #6 – Make investing in yourself a priority and reality.
Making time to invest in your own interests is an important life skill women should master because we tend to think of others first. And often times of others only. But that can erode a woman’s individuality if she isn’t careful. So, there needs to be a balance between thinking of others and creating space for self. It starts by accepting yourself for who you are now. Then it grows by imagining a better version of yourself.
Dreaming of what can be is a hopeful practice. Turning those dreams into reality is hard work. Enjoying the fruit of the labor makes it all worth it. Investing in the “me” I am right now is one of the most valuable skills to have. It’s like super charging myself so that I can launch faster and further than before. Challenging myself pushes me into new arenas where I meet people, learn new strategies and pick up new tools along the way. So I’ve decided to take my growth as a woman into my own hands.
How? By being present now and you can too! Enjoy the process of blooming just as much as you anticipate the end result. Although, spoiler alert: there is no end! One way I’m investing in myself is by learning ways to replace conventional items we buy. Is the end goal something that benefits house and family? Yes, but I enjoy it for myself first because it encourages my natural creativity. I have to stretch my mind to think outside the box. Then like a scavenger hunt, I have to find resources to pull it all together.
Amateur Tip: Take 1 minute to list as many things you enjoy as possible. If you feel you can’t do that, ask someone close to you to do it. Then choose one to start doing this month.
Investing in self doesn’t have to be expensive, time-consuming or rigid. What interests do you have (or have always had) that you can make space for in your life? Don’t let excuses hang in the air around you. People always make time for the things they want to. The same happens with work. There’s always more to do because work expands the fill the time you give it.
Don’t let weeks turn to months then years and you’re still wishing and dreaming about tomorrow. If your current life doesn’t align with your core values, you’re not living the right life. And as long as you’re making changes to become traditional, you might as well throw in a few for “self”. This life skill is easily one of the most enjoyable ones to master but the value lies in knowing that the woman you become is exactly the one you wanted to be.
Amateur Tip: Try journaling. You may discover your true interests when you’re openly honest with yourself!
I committed to becoming traditional and learning these life skills I think all women should know. I’m committed to giving myself the space and time to learn. It’s not easy, but it has been (and will continue to be) so worth it. I’m also motivated because I know that nothing will change if I don’t make changes. I once read somewhere that a girl can’t be a woman if she doesn’t see one lived out in front of her. So, if I want more women around me to return to our roots, I have to live a life as an example.
“Bloom where you are planted.”
St. Francis de Sales
If you’re interested in learning more life skills a traditional woman needs to know, I highly recommend reading or gifting Elisabeth Elliot’s book, Let Me Be a Woman. Written by a mother to her daughter, it’s perfect for the woman looking for solid truth and guidance. It’s also the perfect coming-of-age book for young ladies.